Steve Smith, Anne Luna and Chris Sanders are The Hard Road Trio, original southwestern acoustic music at the crossroads of Roots and Bluegrass. Where The Trio sound is even greater than the sum of these parts:
Life-long musicians Steve Smith (vocals, mandolin, Octave Mandolin and guitar) (Tim May and Steve Smith) and Chris Sanders (vocals and guitar) have captured audiences across the country with the depth of their songwriting and the power of their distinctive voices. Anchoring down the groove is Anne Luna (bass and vocals) who has appeared with April Verch, Spring Creek Bluegrass and recorded with Kenny Maines and Alan Munde. Their music grows from Steve’s love of bluegrass rooted in his native Virginia, the beauty of choral singing ever-present in Chris’ Minnesota childhood and the tradition of music in Anne’s New Mexico family. Together, their Southwestern blend of Bluegrass and Americana provides a unique heartbeat and lilt underscored by Anne’s driving bass. Their “perfect harmonies” (Audiophilereview.com) are “…delivered with a sense of connection and joy, both in the music and in sharing of it.” (Kerry Dexter, Wandering Educators)
Appearances by the Trio include Tucson’s Desert Bluegrass Festival, Pickin’ in the Pines, Bighorn Mountain Festival, Swallow Hill in Denver, Durango Bluegrass Meltdown, Black Rose Acoustic Society, Wildflower Concerts, Albuquerque Folkfest, Berkeley’s Freight and Salvage, Rice Festival, and Hardly Strictly Bluegrass as well as an official showcase at FAR West in Oct. ’12. In The Hard Road Trio + Bill Evans, The Trio joins forces with an extraordinary banjo player (and Steve’s former Cloud Valley band mate) – shows in 2013 included the Mammoth and Santa Fe Bluegrass festivals and High Mountain Hay Fever in CO. Steve has also played and recorded with Jim Hurst, Missy Raines and the Alan Munde Gazette. Steve, Chris and Anne continue to be in demand as teachers and clinicians (Camp Bluegrass, HCamp, California Coast Music Camp, Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp and Zoukfest).
Their latest release Monticello peaked at #2 on the Cashbox Roots Music Chart, reaching #4 Top Album on the Folk DJ Chart (tying with Willie Nelson) and #9 Top Artist. Monticello has been played on over 200 stations nationwide and many overseas.
“Monticello has a flavor of desert ease with rich tones, colorful stories, heartfelt sentiment and excellent musicianship.” Claire Lynch, Nashville
“This music will wash over you like a warm desert sun. Sanders and Smith sing together with rich, knowing voices that seem melded together in time”. Missy Raines, Nashville
“Just when you thought Hard Road couldn’t get any better, out comes their new CD Monticello. What a great combination of songwriting, singing, and playing in an outstanding performance package. Steve, Chris, and Anne all turn career performances in this not to be missed package.” Alan Munde, Wimberley TX
Americana • bluegrass